WhatFinger

It's a violation of the Hatch Act, and it was allegedly done in collusion with the public employee union

Post Office under investigation for illegally engineering mass time off so employees could go work for Hillary


By —— Bio and Archives--August 28, 2017

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They failed to deliver! No matter what else comes of this, we can take comfort in that.

The Post Office can grant an employee’s request for leave without pay for any reason at all. There’s nothing illegal about that. But when the Post Office is colluding with the public employee union to approve gobs of them, all at once, all to benefit a particular political candidate who just happens to be the preference of the union, that’s a violation of the Hatch Act.

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And while it won’t get much media coverage for reasons I suppose you can figure out, it’s still going to be a very big problem for whoever Trey Gowdy sniffs out as responsible:

Senate and House committee chairmen Ron Johnson and Trey Gowdy this week sent letters to 10 cabinet departments, requesting information about their policies governing what’s known as union Leave Without Pay. The letter follows a July report by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC)—the federal agency that investigates government employment practices—revealing that senior leaders of the USPS “improperly coordinated” with the National Association of Letter Carriers to engineer time off for nearly 100 employees for election purposes.

Federal employees can apply for leave without pay, but this case was a union-engineered job. The union provided management with lists of names, and the USPS sent these out in email “directives,” telling local offices to grant specific leave requests.

The employees were sometimes granted leave over the objections of local postmasters, who faced staffing shortages and overtime costs. The employees then joined an AFL-CIO program to work for Mrs. Clinton and other candidates, and were paid for their time off with union funds.

OSC calls this a “systematic” violation of the Hatch Act, which governs the political activities of federal workers. Government employees are allowed to engage in politics, but on their own time, and federal agencies are required to administer leave programs in a neutral fashion. In the USPS case, the OSC found an “institutional bias” in favor of union-backed candidates, meaning Democrats.

 

This is probably one of those cases where it’s obvious from the facts at hand what’s going on, but it still might be difficult to prove it was a violation of the law. The USPS could argue that it would have also approved mass leave requests from employees who wanted to go work for Trump, but received few or none. That may very well be true, but the nature of the collaboration between a government agency and the union here belies the claim that the Post Office was merely sitting back and reacting to requests.

By e-mailing local offices and instructing them to approve requests from employees touted by the union, the USPS was essentially allowing the union to drive the entire effort - especially by doing it in such large numbers. And the employees weren’t really giving up their pay. The union was replacing their government pay using union funds, which of course came from the compulsory dues paid by government employees. Indirectly, the compensation for the temporary Hillary workers was still coming from the taxpayers.

Had the Post Office taken a hands-off approach and merely approved or denied each request on its merits, it would probably have been in compliance with the law. By forwarding the unions’ employee lists with instructions to approve all leave requests from people on the list, the Post Office was essentially functioning as a temp agency for Hillary’s campaign. Any way you look at it, that’s an example of a government agency whose policies are designed to assist one candidate over another, and that’s a clear Hatch Act violation.

Then again, if Democrats are determined to rely on the efforts of government employees in their campaigns, maybe that’s why Democrats can be expected to lose with regularity. The rest of the country has already figured out that government employees are not exactly the world’s biggest go-getters. Maybe this is what it will take for Democrats to learn the same lesson.


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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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